New 7-Eleven Ads Target Gen Z Love For Coffee-And 'Car-fies'

Convenience-store giant 7-Eleven is out to caffeinate its coffee game with a new campaign aimed at boosting Gen Z beverage sales.

Building on last year’s launch, the newest ads in the “Take it to Eleven” effort hinge on the brand’s positioning as “our customer’s ingenious accomplice,” says Marissa Jarratt, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

New spots show off different aspects of the chain’s coffee experience–the many ways they can customize their cup of Joe, some people’s peculiar passion for iced coffee even in a blizzard, and the love of car culture.

The goal is to boost the chain’s coffee sales “because beverage trips are a gateway to growth for our entire store.”



Dentsu Creative is the ad agency, and filmmaker Christine Yuan directed the spots.

Jarratt tells Marketing Daily the initial campaign “struck a chord with our customers and our entire organization too -- our operators and franchisees.”

It drove 13 billion paid media impressions, a hundred million new trips to stores and helped the Irving, Texas-based company achieve same-store sales growth of 6%.

The campaign launch “validated our hypothesis that people see us as a trusty companion to take them through the unpredictability of life -- and get them through their day with a smile," says Jarratt. That smile can range from parking-lot scenes, “which tends to be our stage,” to showcasing the diverse cast of characters that come through the store.

The company has invested heavily in its coffee platforms in recent years, adding specialties like espresso, iced coffee and many customization options. “It’s high quality, a good value, and people can make their coffee the way they like it.”

COVID has hurt those sales, and the new campaign attempts to regain some lost revenue. “Coffee is a big part of our product assortment, and with about a third of the workforce still working remotely, we’ve seen a decline," Jarratt says.  "This will drive coffee awareness so that we can bolster those trips back to our stores, introducing a new Gen Z audience to our offers."

The company “aged down” its media-buying plan to reach people as young as 18. And the campaign is heavy on digital and social media and keys in on the brand’s plentiful user-generated content.

Cars are a big deal, with about 30% of its content featuring a “car-fie,” or selfie in front of stores. To perk up that fanbase, 7-Eleven even built its own car last year, asking fans to vote on design elements on social media. “That’s why we made cars the hero in one of the upcoming spots,” Jarratt says. “We wanted to include that car culture.”

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